- Benchmark Advance
- Lexia-RAPID Pilot
- Fountas & Pinnell, CAASPP
- Teachers College Reading and Writing Project (TCRWP) Units of Study for Teaching Writing
- TCRWP Writing Assessment, CAASPP
- Math Expressions
- Math Expressions Assessment, CAASPP
- FOSS Curriculum
- Mystery Science
- NGSS- Individualized
- Annual STEAM Fair
- California Science Test (CAST)
- Scott Foresman
- No test
Differentiating instruction for student success is an area of focus at North School. Professional development in this area continues to be a priority. We respect each child as an individual and believe that each child can achieve mastery of our high standards curriculum. We provide direct instruction of the basic skills, and enriching learning through highly motivating, hands-on activities. Cooperative and individualized instruction strategies ensure that every child is successful. We stress reading, writing, oral language, art, mathematics, and computer skills across all subject areas. We offer strong programs in the visual arts, physical education, library & media skills, Spanish (grades 4 & 5), and vocal and instrumental music.
The current HCSD criteria for a student to be considered gifted is for a student to either: 1) score in the 98th or 99th %tile on the OLSAT-8 (Otis-Lennon School Ability Test)-which is given to all Kindergarten and 2nd grade students, or 2) obtaining and sharing private cognitive testing that shows tests results greater than or equal to 98th%-tile.
North School schedules fall gifted conferences with a students’ parents, teacher, the school counselor and the principal to discuss a variety of ways to support and extend an identified gifted students social-emotional and academic development.
Social Emotional Learning
Curriculum developed and implemented by the District’s counselors and teachers support students’ social-emotional and academic well-being. Character education reinforces healthy relationships among students and staff. Elements of mindfulness and design thinking have also been introduced and are practiced in classrooms. These resources complement the Common Core State Standards by bringing depth and breadth into classrooms and supporting emotional and academic goals for each student. Our school counselor provides opportunities to connect with parents to discuss grade level issues and child development.
Our full-time counselor works with students to help develop a greater understanding of what it is to live in a community. The school counselor supports the emotional and social growth of the students as they develop through their elementary school years. In addition, the school counselor supports staff integration of social/emotional development lessons in the classroom. She schedules these with the classroom teacher.
Our counselor offers lunch meetings with groups of students to support friendships and/or social development. This year, our counselor created “Reading with Rhett (our Learning Center Service Dog) to support those with reading interests and needs. Our counselor educates and facilitates a group of students who become Peacekeepers. This group of students attend recess on the primary yard to help supervise students and assist in facilitating conflict resolution talks between primary grade students. The counselor also meets with parents individually and at group meetings. She is accessible and works in concert with the principal to bring the best environment to North students.
The counselor has implemented all elements of the Kimochis one of our schools social emotional learning curriculum throughout K-5th grades. Kimochis curriculum is based on the five core competencies of CASEL and helps reinforce the HCSD Essential Outcomes. The counselor schedules provides Kindergarten- 5th grade to support Kimochis as well as other social emotional strategies. Additionally, our counselor teaches and mentors a group of 5th grade student leaders who make up our Character Team. The Character team creates and performs six assembly skits aligned with our Essential Outcomes as well as the six articles in our North Constitution.
We strive to maintain a warm and nurturing school atmosphere, where respect and support among students, staff, and parents is evident. The staff and parents of North School work hard to encourage personal and social growth. North School created and adopted a school wide constitution of six articles aligned with our HSCD essential outcomes. In addition, staff members have begun to learn and implement elements of the Responsive Classroom approach to support balancing student academic development and social/emotional growth.
The Essential Outcomes are not just for students. The entire North adult community strives to model the Essential Outcomes each day. We employ a variety of methods to support our efforts in teaching children how to reach the Essential Outcomes. The staff has embraced the Responsive Classroom curriculum and Kimochis as a way to teach action steps toward reaching the Essential Outcomes as well as researching the benefits of a Mindfulness curriculum.
Staff members routinely collaborate and work together and with students to identify and solve problems in order to promote a positive learning environment. This fosters a positive climate where teachers intervene to prevent and stop inappropriate behavior through regular class meetings, discussions, and assemblies. Our staff members also support our schools climate by connecting students from different grade levels. When students are from different grade levels meet students are given opportunities for social connection, differentiated learning, and mentor opportunities.
Leadership opportunities are available to students throughout the school year. One of these is the North School Student Council. Fourteen 3rd, 4th and 5th grade officers represent our student council. Seven students are elected by their peers and seven students are selected by the teacher leadership team.. Student Council officers meet weekly to plan school-wide events, plan representative meetings, and support school initiatives. Representatives from Kindergarten through 5th grade classes are elected by their classmates to serve a one-semester term as classroom representatives. Classroom Representatives are responsible for helping to mobilize all student voices, vote and carry out initiatives planned by the student council. Class Representatives communicate between the student council officers and the general education classrooms.
Our K-5 Student Leadership team consists of roles in 5th grade character team, classroom announcers, service learning ambassadors, peacemakers, and K-2 buddy bench pals and litter lovers.
Service Learning Program
In addition, 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students serve as Service Learning Ambassadors who meet weekly to impact grade level projects, school wide initiatives including but not limited to homelessness, environment and ability awareness. This year’s theme is the environment. Each grade takes on a service learning program that is related to the theme and integrates the program into the school curriculum. Some examples include Hidden Villa Waste Program, Marker Recycling, Semester at Sea trip to the Pacific Gyre, and Arcade Game Design with Bridge School and Learning Center students. All School programs include Change for Change where students do chores to raise funds for an organization that relates to the annual theme. Change for Change happens for two weeks in the winter and includes an all school assembly, a family movie night, and a design thinking after school program. There are also opportunities for families to engage in service learning programs after school such as San Francisco/Marin Food Bank, Project Night Night, a beach clean up and working at Harvest Garden for local food insecure families.
Communication is an essential element for success at North School. Parents are kept informed of activities, policies, and individual progress through the North news newsletter, North social media instagram account, classroom websites, weekly classroom newsletters, google calendars, formal and informal conferences, email, and an active Parent Group that meets monthly. Input from parents is important to the effectiveness of our program and is welcomed by staff and administration.
Parents are invited to parent education activities and consistently receive relevant information concerning school programs and their effects on children. District, school, and classroom websites along with quarterly newsletters are another mode of communication.
Parent volunteers are critical to the success of our educational program. Many volunteer hours are logged every week in individual classrooms and in the library. Parents volunteer hundreds of hours annually and provide resources through many sources including but not limited to parent group, site safety, school site council, service learning, STEAM fair, and district committees. Parents are instrumental in the delivery of and financial support of Art in Action.
North Parent Group provides financial support through allocations each year. The group is active and vital to the vision of the school in order to provide an exemplary education for all students. Community activities are scheduled throughout the year. Parents assist in classroom holiday celebrations, field trips, and with teachers and administration consistently throughout the year. North Parent Group is an essential component to the enrichment offered to students. They have given us the opportunity to expand our curriculum through allocation funding of Time and scholastic online materials. The activities and programs supported through the North Parent Group continue to strengthen the relationship between school and home and to build community spirit. The school serves as an informal nucleus of the community connecting families through engaging events, programs and traditions. Some of them include: New Family Playdates, Welcome Coffees, Family Movie Night, Fathers and Friends Day, Halloween Bingo, Heritage Day, Talent Show, Art Show, STEAM Fair, Field Day and thousands of parent volunteer hours.
The Hillsborough City School District offers substantial opportunities for professional development that significantly elevate the quality of instruction and enable students to reach proficiency on academic content and achievement standards. The focus of professional development this year is around the teaching of writing and differentiation in the classroom. A BTSA program supports new teachers.
Our staff is committed to professional growth as indicated by the many workshops, conferences and classes they attend. Professional development has also been provided in behavior modification techniques to support student learning. Articulation meetings are scheduled to promote consistency and dialogue within and between grade levels across the District. Collaboration time at the site is built into the daily schedule and classroom teachers have opportunities to collaborate with their grade level team at designated times throughout the week. These designated times support current professional development and best practices in general.
Staff development is driven and facilitated by the principal and the Director of Educational Services and focuses around balanced literacy and the Next Generation Science Standards. Teachers collect new student assessment across the year, which helps drive instruction. The Technology Mentor provides staff in-services and then continues to support every teacher in creating and sustaining an active website for students and parent to access. Staff have been encouraged and supported to attend professional learning opportunities at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, workshops with authors focusing on the teaching of reading and writing, Responsive Classroom institutes and one-day workshops, events connected with the Museum of Tolerance, STEAM expo events, and innovative learning conferences.
North has many teachers taking on Hillsborough Incentive Plans (HIP) that involve research on various areas of education. Hillsborough Incentive Plans help create a climate of professional development for the school.
Funding and Governance
The Hillsborough City School District Bylaws and Policies are followed at all times.
Meetings of the Site Council are held monthly to review the School Plan, analyze data from parent surveys and assessments, and discuss topics of relevance to the school community. All meetings are open to interested community members. Members are elected to represent parents/community and school staff. The North School Site Council annually reviews the Single Plan for Student Achievement and presents it to the Hillsborough City School District Board of Trustees each year.